So we already know a bonfire and fireworks are going to play a big role in our party but what else can we add to make the party more interesting?
Penny For The Guy
Traditionally in the UK children made Guys made to look like Guy Fawkes
by sfuffing old clothes with straw and newspaper. These would then be touted around local streets to collect money to buy fireworks for Bonfire Night.
A modern take on this might be to have a Guy making competition. Ask your party guests to either bring a Guy they have made at home with them or have plenty of bits and pieces from which you can make Guys at the party.
The finished guys could be displayed and judged, or voted on by everyone at the party with a prize for the best one.
Traditionally all the Guys are burned on the bonfire. So set them on stakes and place on your fire before lighting it.
One of the oldest traditional Bonfire Night games is bobbing for apples, and this can be a useful distraction while the food is prepared. Set out a dish-washing bowl full of water and float several apples. Children take turns to catch an apple in their teeth – no hands are allowed. The game is harder if stalks are removed.)
There is also a very similar game which seems to fit the bill nicely and is incredibly popular with kids.
Take a bowl and fill it with flour, packing the flour down tightly. Turn it out onto a tray leaving a small compact flour mound. Place a wrapped sweet on the top. Children take turns to cut slices off the flour mound, getting closer all the time to the sweets. Eventually the mound collapses and whoever was responsible has to retrieve, with their teeth only, the sweet which has fallen into the mound of flour.
For safety and comfort equip the children with a pair of safety goggles.
The kids adore this game and end up with floury white faces and then funny panda eyes when they remove the goggles
Top Tip -You generally have to continue until all the children have had a go at finding the sweet so you may like to set up more than one bowl of flour if you have a lot of children at your party.
Being so close to Halloween
, games such as pin the tail on the black cat are a favourite with children, along with carefully supervised sparklers
, face painting & fancy dress.
Prepare some simple large cookies in advance. Buy some ready made cake and cookie icers, sprinkles and other cake decorations. Set up a number of workstations where the young party guests can ice fireworks on the top of the biscuits. Of course everyone can take their Firework Fancy home at the end.
Splat And Blow Fireworks
This is a nice craft activity. Provide guests with a sheet of black paper, small pots of coloured paints and a drinking straw. Show the children how to splatter a few drops of paint on the paper and then blow with the straws to make brilliant firework patterns.
The Dance Of The Fireworks
This is really a game for younger children. The kids dance about but every so often you shout the name of a firework. Each firework has a particular action for the children and caller (come on Mum you have to join in too) to perform.
- The kids all whoosh around like rockets from one end of the room to another.
• Catherine Wheel
- Everyone whirls and spins around like a catherine wheel.
- Shake your head and hands like a mad sparkler
• Jumping Jacks
- These leap about all over the place
- Everyone puts their fingers in their ears then you all count together 1…2…3…BANG!
Repeat for as long as its fun.
Make A Story Stick
People have been telling stories around the campfire since ancient times, and story sticks have perhaps been around for that long.
To make a story stick, find a sturdy stick and decorate it with coloured thread, ribbons or streamers. Pass the story stick around the campfire. Whoever holds the stick has a turn to speak and so adds a few sentences to the campfire story…In this way an interesting and original tale unfolds.
Make a Bonfire Picture
Tear up thin strips of orange, red and yellow tissue paper and stick onto black card to make a bonfire. Use brown paper or pipe cleaners for the wood, and put star shaped stickers or sequins in the sky.
Make Edible Sparklers
Dip chocolate fingers into warm water and then into hundreds and thousands to make your very own edible sparklers
It's got to be fire eaters, fire jugglers or any other type of outdoor street entertainers! Once the fireworks have finished and the bonfire is starting to wane, it's inside for dancing with a live band or DJ.
For adults, in keeping with the fire theme, why not also add a Fire Walk? If you're not that adventurous, and if you have the space, think about funfair stalls such as a traditional coconut shy, cork shooting, duck fishing or strength tests. A popular addition to many parties and perfect for bonfire night are Sky Lanterns
Cold nights are also a great excuse to bring out those winter warmer cocktails & liqueur coffees. Some of Manchester Fireworks favourites include a Hot Toddy
and Irish Coffee.
think about toffee apples, parkin
and treacle toffee
Top Tips for Making the Most of Bonfire Night
Whether you're DIY-ing it or going to an organised firework display
, to get the very most out of the festivities it pays to have some practical tricks up your sleeve so everyone can have a great time.
Warm clothes all round...you'll be hanging around in the cold for a while so dig out the hat, gloves and boots. Make sure everyone is dressed in snug, non-flammable clothing so cold extremities don't put a dampener on the proceedings.
Consider taking your own flasks with warming drinks to heat up cold bodies! As well as drinks pack a bag of seasonal treats - toffee apples and slabs of delicious Parkin (a traditional cake to celebrate November 5th) are yummy and easily portable.
Some children, particularly younger kids, can be put off fireworks because of the noise. If your child wants to see the fireworks but is scared of the loud bangs manchester fireworks sell a range of low noise fireworks such as fountaines
which do not make any loud noises.
Hold a post firework display get together at your home - that way you can do something more intimate a selection box
of assorted fireworks is good to get you started before you go out.
Check out our food ideas for inspiration or keep things simple and serve up hot drinks (hot chocolates for the kids and mulled wine for the adults) and hot dogs.
Clear, dry weather can never be guaranteed so pack some waterproofs just in case. And if the weather isn't conducive to hanging around outdoors, commandeer a good vantage point from a top room window and enjoy the local displays from the comfort of your own home! (or drive to a good elevated position near to a local display).
No party should be without sparklers but they must be handled with care. Make sure the kids wear gloves and supervise them at all times when they're holding sparklers. Ensure your kids understand that sparklers are not toys and shouldn't be "played" with (eg. poking each other, sticking them into faces, etc.). Ensure you have a bucket of water to put the sparklers in straight after they're finished with. They stay hot for a long while after they've gone out so should never be touched with bare hands, even when extinguished.